SAGICOR CALLS ON PRIVATE SECTOR TO COMBAT NCD’s
The recently concluded Caribbean Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Forum was held in Kingston, Jamaica under the theme “Supporting National and Regional Advocacy in the Caribbean in the Lead Up to the 3rd United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting on NCDs“. Notable attendees from Barbados included Professor Sir Trevor Hassell of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) and Mr. Edward Clarke, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Barbados Operations at Sagicor Life Inc.
The main objectives of the regional multi-stakeholder forum were to assess NCD response progress in the Caribbean since the second UN High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) in 2011, and to determine priority areas and action plans to be addressed at the upcoming UNHLM. The 2018 UNHLM will be held in New York on September 27th, 2018.
Speaking during a panel discussion on the topic, Mr. Clarke issued a challenge to the private sector to do more to support the epidemic of NCDs in the Caribbean. He highlighted his company’s commitment to funding capacity building at the HCC – the forum host – through an on-going Memorandum of Understanding. He also provided details of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives which focus on healthy lifestyles, including a campaign denouncing the marketing of unhealthy foods to children and the recently launched medical mobile units in Barbados and Dominica.
Mr. Clarke emphasised the importance of private sector involvement in action plans to reduce the incidence of NCDs in the region.
“As a regional insurance company operating for over 175 years, we consider ourselves partners in wellness, in the communities in which we operate. Sagicor has always been a strong proponent of growth and development in the health sector, as we see the social and economic impact of NCDs on a daily basis. I encourage all members of the private sector to make a contribution to this fight. We cannot develop and prosper, supported by a workforce of sick people and we have to begin by educating our young people about healthy eating and physical activity so that we shape the path of our future.”